BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Road and traffic offences in the country are still a worrying trend despite the implementation of the Demerit Points System trial run after two months. Not much significant impact was seen on the reduction of traffic offences like driving over the speed limit or speeding, Borneo Bulletin reported.
This was expressed by Dato Paduka Hj Awg Alaihuddin bin Pehin Orang Kaya Gadong Seri Lela Dato Seri Utama Hj Awg Mohd Taha, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communications during the launch of the animated video tips and e-book for road safety yesterday.
Dato Paduka Hj Awg Alaihuddin, who is also Chairman of the Brunei Darussalam Road Safety Council (BDRSC), said, “Four hundred and twenty road users were handed with demerit points in the months of May and June, and the majority of the offences were speeding and jumping the red light.
“The offence of driving over the speed limit or speeding,” he said, “still occurs at a worrying rate. This is the result of the findings after two months of implementing the on-trial Demerit Points System as compared to the level before the implementation, whereby there is not much significant change although there was a reduction of only two per cent.”
In an effort to identify dangerous driving behaviour like using mobile phones and driving without safety belts, he said, “We are currently observing four main highways which have shown a worrying situation. Previously, an average of 4.9 per cent of drivers used mobile phones while driving. Our latest observation has shown that this has increased to an average of six per cent. While previously an average of 20.3 per cent of drivers were found to not use seatbelts while driving, our latest observation showed this had increased to 34.4 per cent.”
In view of the worrying situation, the permanent secretary called on more efforts and variations in enforcement to reduce and curb the dangerous behaviour of drivers.
To further improve and enhance the Demerit Points System, Dato Paduka Hj Awg Alaihuddin said, “After almost three months in the implementation of the Demerit Points System through roadshows and dialogues as well as continuous monitoring, we have identified issues that would provide us with the platform of preparation before the full implementation of the Demerit Points System by the middle of 2013.
The BDRSC Chairman thanked the public and relevant authorities for providing feedback and suggestions on the implementation. He hoped to hear more suggestions that would help ensure a successful implementation.
Dato Paduka Hj Awg Alaihuddin further said, “Main issues like process of collecting points to be transferred into the PDA system. Various enforcement methods, suitable offences that need to be subjected to the Demerit Points and that should have been noted. Action to overcome or improve the main issues will be given attention so that the implementation of the Demerit Points System will be more effective, simple and accepted by the public.
“To evaluate the implementation after three months,” he said, “the Ministry of Communications will host a Mid-Trial Period Review” in early August.
The one-day session will be attended by the Royal Brunei Police Force, Land Transport Department and the ministry itself.